Speaking and storytelling

In a recent post, I outlined a collaborative writing activity for consolidating past simple and past continuous tense use. In that post, I briefly mentioned a possible follow up activity, using learner generated content and focusing on selected elements of spoken narrative. Since then, I’ve done just that with my pre-intermediate learners, and found it worked well, so I thought I’d share what I did with it here…

Time: 45 minutes (depending on class size/group size)

Materials: Cut up structural elements of spoken narrative and their linguistic realisations. (See example here ) (With higher levels, previously, I’ve cut up all the chunks individually but with my pre-ints I cut the chunks up in groups, so they had to match groups of chunks with the function rather than individual chunks, to provide more scaffolding)

Focus: Chunks of language used to structure stories when told orally (rather than written).

As I mentioned, I did this as a follow up to a lesson focusing on consolidation of past simple and continuous. For homework, I asked learners to prepare a story to tell a small group of their classmates at the start of the next lesson. Some of them hadn’t done the homework, but I grouped them so that in each pair/small group, at least one person had done the homework, meaning there was student-generated content to work from.

  • Give learners a few minutes to tell their stories to their pair/group. Give some delayed feedback on language use.
  • Tell the learners that the aim of the next part of the lesson is to look at the language often used in storytelling.
  • Hand out the cut-up chunks of language and functions; ask learners to match them.
  • Give learners each a copy of the handout as it was before you chopped it all out.
  • Do some pronunciation work, so that they can get their mouths around the chunks and experiment with intonation.
  • Get them to think about how they could integrate the language into the stories they told at the start of the lesson.

(Some of my learners had written out their story, some hadn’t; the activity worked in both instances: learners were looking closely at their writing, or discussing what they had said, and matching parts of it to the various functions, to decide which chunks to include. I monitored and guided them if they were using a chunk inappropriately.)

  • Once learners have finished, either regroup them and let them re-tell their stories to a new group/partner, using that new language and follow that up by letting a few tell their stories to the whole class, or, as in the case of the second class I tried this with, if you only have a small number of students, if they have practiced their story in their groups, you can skip straight to the whole class stage and let all of them have the opportunity to show off!

(My students automatically gave each other questions to answer before re-telling their stories, in the first class which tickled me!)

The next part of the sequence uses Headway Pre-Int 4th edition’s picture story of a flight attendant, Stephen Slater, who gets hit over the head by a passenger taking their bag out of the overhead compartment before the plane had stopped moving. Slater goes crazy and opens the emergency exit/slide, slides down and is arrested. Based on a true story! The book sequence is a series of newspaper articles related to the story and the picture story forms part of an opening activity. However, any simple picture story would do here!

  • Get learners to tell the story in the pictures, using the storytelling language that they’ve just been working with.
  • Tell the learners that same story (in my case I did it from the point of view of one of the other passengers on the flight!), of course using some of the target chunks.
  • Learners listen and tick the chunks they hear used.
  • Follow up with a discussion about how the chunks can help them in listening/understanding as well as speaking, and how speakers use those chunks in storytelling to help the listener follow what is being said: when we tell stories, we want the listener to think it’s as funny/crazy/<insert adjective we feel the story is> as we do, so we want them to follow what’s happening.

As the sequence in the book uses newspaper articles (it’s a reading sequence), I might in the next lesson draw attention to how events are ordered in newspaper articles compared with telling stories orally…

It worked well, but of course it was also a bit back to front really – the learners heard me telling the story as one of the last parts of the sequence. It was a nice way to finish (I set the book reading activities – question answering – for homework) but logically it should have happened earlier in the lesson. But on the other hand, the learners got there successfully without it, using their own stories and the language/functions met in the lesson. They did upgrade their stories really well, and using the chunks helped them in terms of fluency. I could perhaps have told a story of my own earlier in the sequence, to illustrate the chunks in use – perhaps before getting the learners to edit their own stories. Perhaps next time I will! What order should you do it in? Up to you! 🙂

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Consolidating narrative tenses: a storytelling lesson/lesson series idea

Level: Pre-intermediate but adaptable to higher levels by increasing the demands imposed in the collaborative writing stage.

Time: +/- 45mins (but time increases with class-size)

Materials: A story told in a series of pictures, all cut up. (E.g. a comic book story – blank out the dialogue, or leave it in to add reading to the skills used in this sequence; but such stories exist in ELT books too e.g. Straight Forward Teachers Resource Book Communicative Activity 2D – of which this activity sequence is an adaptation and extension. Alternatively, if you are of an artistic bent, create your own picture story!)

Focus: Narrative tenses (past simple and past continuous); question formation (the bane of a pre-intermediate learner’s life!); speaking; writing; listening.

This worked well with both my pre-intermediate classes yesterday, so I thought I’d share it here…

  • Stick cut-up pictures on the walls around the room in random order.
  • When you’re ready to start the activity, draw attention to the pictures. Tell learners the protagonist names and explain that the pictures tell a story about them.
  • Put learners in pairs (and one group of three if an uneven number, or groups of three if a larger class/you’re worried about time). Tell them to walk around, look at the pictures and decide what the story is: they can carry a notebook to make brief notes but at this point the focus is on speaking, brainstorming and logical deduction. There should be a lot of moving about to-ing and fro-ing between pictures, as they try to pick out the story.
  • When they have decided what the story is and have the key points established, they can sit down again. (They can always jump up for another look subsequently if needed!)

Now it is time for some collaborative writing:

  • In their pairs/groups, learners need to build their notes up into a story. Challenge them to use past simple/past continuous and linkers (when/while/because) – so that the story is not just a series of simple sentences and the target structures are used. For higher levels, require use of other tenses and encourage them to use as great a range of vocabulary as they can.
  • Feed in any vocabulary learners need (this gives them practice in verbal circumlocution too – e.g. “how do you say when you like someone very much in the first time of look at them?” [answer: it was love at first sight] ). This stage involves a lot of discussion, as the learners decide/agree on how to formulate their story. 

Finally, some storytelling and listening

  • When a pair/group of learners have finished writing their story, ask them to write three questions that are answered in their story. (You could stipulate that at least one question should use the past continuous.) If a pair/group hasn’t made much use of the past continuous, get them to look again and see if they can change that.
  • Now each pair/group takes a turn to tell the rest of their class the three questions they have decided on (the teacher can either have checked and corrected, where necessary, prior to this, or do the checking/correcting at this point, asking the rest of the class for help) and then tell their story. (Encourage learners to tell the story expressively,with lots of drama!) Classmates listen and answer the questions. The teacher listens and makes notes on language use and pronunciation for delayed feedback.
  • After a pair/group has finished telling their story, the rest of the class provides the answers to their questions. The teacher can then give feedback by writing up phrases to be corrected on the board (or, if available, using a good old OHP, having written language for focus directly onto a transparency! An I-pad/projector could fulfil the same function if you are a techie) and eliciting the corrections. Don’t forget to give positive feedback as well – pay attention to good use of language e.g. adverbs, dramatic language, good use of past simple/past continuous and linkers, and, of course, the content and coherence of the story.

(Of course, as the learners are reading a written story, this activity is not focused on the sub-skills of spoken storytelling, for either storyteller or listener. However, gaining better control over the past simple and past continuous will be a useful base for learners to approach an activity with such a focus e.g. the follow-up activity below…)

A homework/follow up activity sequence idea:

  • Get them to go away and prepare a story about something that happened to them (you could use the same past time point as you used for the picture story) – it can be real or invented.
  • They should come to the next lesson prepared to tell their story to a small group. Encourage them not to write it, but just to make notes. 
  • In the next lesson, get learners to tell their stories. You could these as the basis for a lesson on spoken story-telling skills, enabling learners to upgrade their stories by focusing on structure of spoken narrative and associated language/evaluative language/listener responses etc.

*******************

(For example: A sequence for focusing on structural language: 

  1. Give learners a spoken storytelling frame, with chunks of language for introducing different parts of a story.
  2. Ask them to listen to a recording of a story, which uses some of these chunks of language and identify which chunks are used.
  3. Get them to upgrade their story using the frame, deciding which chunks of language to use at each step.
  4. Ask them to re-tell their upgraded stories to different partners, decreasing the time they have for each telling.)

*******************

  • Then, for the next piece of homework,  ask learners to write their stories up (encourage use of a computer), using linkers to encourage the complex sentences that are typical of writing but not speaking, and bring these (i.e. a print-out/i-pad/laptop) to a subsequent lesson. (Having done the initial collaborative writing activity, this should be less daunting for them!) If learners are bored of their stories, let them choose a classmate’s story to write up instead! (It doesn’t matter if two learners have written up the same story, in fact it could yield some interesting comparisons in the peer-editing phase of this sequence…)
  • Use the pieces of writing as the basis for a peer editing activity, where they work on upgrading each others’ stories. They could then implement peer edits and upload the final version on a class blog or Edmodo

I hope you enjoy using these activities with your learners – do pop back and let me know how it went, if you can find the time! 🙂

1280px-Stipula_fountain_pen

Picture taken from Google advanced image search, licensed for commercial reuse with modification, source – http://commons.wikimedia.org

Delta Notes 1: Error Correction

This Delta Notes series has come about because I am packing up all my stuff to move out of my flat and have found my Delta notebooks. I don’t want to put them in a box (got plenty to store as it is plus it’s pointless…) and let them gather dust, so thought I’d write up the notes I’m interested in keeping and get rid of the notebooks instead! I will also add some reflections at the end of each set of notes. Feel free to share opinions, add ideas, argue against any ideas you disagree with etc by commenting using the comment box beneath the posts. (These are just some of my notes from Delta input sessions – I may have misunderstood or missed something: there was a lot of information flying around that semester!)

Here are my (written up) notes from a Module 2 input session on error correction:

Errors are evidence of learner development and are made for a variety of reasons. They are something we, as teachers, have to deal with on a regular basis. To do this effectively, it helps to have a clear understanding of why errors might be made and what can be done with them.

If a learner makes a slip, they have the requisite knowledge, e.g. that in the third person present simple, we add –s or –es, but do not produce the item correctly. In this case, they are likely to be able to self-correct quickly. Errors can also provide evidence of learners’ systems – if a learner produces the same error consistently, it is systematic. Learners may also make attempts to say something that they have not learnt how to say, and not quite manage. This provides information about what they are ready for – what they can do and what gaps there are in their knowledge.

From the teacher’s point of view, some errors are covert i.e. learners produce something correct but it wasn’t what they wanted to say and this isn’t obvious to the teacher, while some are overt, i.e. obvious.

Errors can be caused by incorrect L1 transfer. However, it is worth remembering that transfer can often also be positive. Errors can also be intra-lingual, developmental and systematic. These refer to learners’ current awareness of the language and can be a result of over-generalisation or incomplete application of rules. They could also be a result of mis-teaching, where there is lack of clarity, or over-teaching, where some language feature, e.g. –ing, gets stuck in their head!

A breakdown of different types of errors:

Pronunciation

  • Suprasegmental – word or sentence level mistakes e.g. incorrect intonation or stress.
  • Segmental – sound-level mistakes e.g. mixing up consonant sounds /p/ and /b/
  • Combinatorial – mistakes relating to how sounds are linked e.g. producing consonant clusters incorrectly.

Lexical

  • Incorrect selection of a word/phrase
  • Inventing a word/phrase
  • Transferring words/phrases from L1 incorrectly
  • Distortions of words e.g. kitchen v chicken

 Semantic

  • Words could be too specific or too general for a given purpose
  • Use of a superordinate instead of a more appropriate hyponym
  • Use of the wrong collocation
  • Production of an incorrect form
  • Wrong level of formality
  • Unintended connotation

Grammatical

  • Covert: a correct form but not the intended form
  • Morphological (but this can be a pronunciation error rather than a grammatical error e.g. not pronouncing the final ‘s’ rather than not using plural)
  • Syntax

Pragmatics

  • Confusion regarding function e.g. Is this ‘Can’ for ability or request – requires interpretation of language in context.
  • Literal meaning could be different from use e.g. “It’s cold in here” literally means the temperature in here is quite low, but it can be used as a request to close a window/put on a heater etc
  • Taboo subjects

Receptive errors

  • Learners may mis-process input and give the wrong response.

How can we deal with learner errors?

If they are overt, we can deal with them instantly or wait till a more appropriate moment.

If we decide to deal with learner errors instantly, how can we go about this?

 This very much depends on the error type and on various contextual factors (what learners are used to, the focus of the lesson phase, how much time is available etc)

One way of dealing with errors:

Ask for repetition: this signals you aren’t sure of what the learner has said and gives them the opportunity to self-correct if it is a slip. It also gives you thinking time! (I.e. time to decide how to deal with the error)

Ask for self-correction: learners may have missed your previous cue or attempted to self-correct but not corrected the error.

Ask the rest of the class to try and help: this engages all learners in what started as a one-to-one interaction and maximizes on the different developmental stages and sub-levels that are present within a single class.

If nobody can help: either give up and provide the answer or give prompts that may help learners to reach the answer. (Worth remembering that you can’t elicit what learners don’t know and considering whether the benefits of laboring over a particular error balance out the amount of time spent.)

If somebody can help: Ask them to repeat their correct form. Get everyone to say the correct form. Then ask the learner who originally made the error to repeat the correct utterance – this reinstates the class as it was, but with the correct form. (Very often, there is no need for a “teacher model”, except for pronunciation – and even with pronunciation, learners will often repeat better from a learner model.)

 It is important to show awareness of errors: If you are not correcting errors, it is important to be explicit about why you are not correcting errors. This might relate to the focus of the lesson phase (i.e. you might be focusing on fluency development and so may be less worried about accuracy at that point) or your plan (i.e. you might plan to do a delayed error correction feedback phase after an activity rather than correct during the activity). However, it is also very important to respond to what learners say, not only focus on how they are saying it.

When a learner produces language, ask yourself:

  • Is this adequate?
  • Can I get more?
  • Do I want more?


Here are some of my reflections on error correction:

Error correction is, I think, one of the minefields of ELT. Learners desperately want it, and may feel they are being short-changed if it doesn’t happen. Teachers may have good reasons for not doing it, or may be doing it in such a way that learners are not explicitly aware that they are being corrected. Teachers might also get into the habit of always using the same narrow selection of error correction techniques, which may not be effective for some of the learners in the class. Of course, what constitutes effective is another can of worms! I think there’s a lot to be said for variety and experimentation, where error correction technique is concerned: Different techniques will be better suited to certain error types, different learner preferences and so on. Experimentation – and, of course, post-lesson reflection on this experimentation – can enable a teacher to build up a range of techniques that he or she will be able to draw on when the need arises.

(For this, I recommend having a look at Classroom Management Techniques by Jim Scrivener, which contains many practical ideas, and the reasoning behind them, to try out: Though it is not specifically about error correction, there is a useful chapter on eliciting (p139 -145), which is applicable. Also have a look at his Learning Teaching book, specifically chapter 14 “Toolkit 2: focusing on language 1. Error Correction” p298 -302. (NB link and page numbers refer to second edition, which I have, but I gather there is a third one now…) Finally, there is a very good chapter in Harmer’s The Practice of English Language Teaching, Chapter 8: “Mistakes and Feedback” p137-152, which I’d recommend reading. In terms of the Delta, as far as I understand it, you are supposed to try and demonstrate that you are able to draw on a wide range of techniques, within an assessed lesson, so all the more reason to have a read and get experimenting if you are a Delta trainee – or a prospective one!)

Errors can be a great source of further learning, but only if they are used as such. For example, if you are doing whole class feedback on a listening exercise, and a learner provides an incorrect answer, merely providing the correct answer will probably  not result in much learning. However, if you involve other learners and explore the cause of the misunderstanding, then learning opportunities increase. Some errors may, of course, not be worth spending too much class time on – this comes down to teacher judgement and may be influenced by factors such as the aim of the activity, how it fits into the sequence of activities that make up the lesson, whether you think the error is something that learners should already know/be able to produce correctly and so on.

Finally, I think it can be valuable to involve learners in negotiating how and when error correction should take place. For example, if you are going to do a speaking activity, ask them if they want to be corrected during the activity or to be given feedback once they have finished speaking. Depending on the activity goal, your preference may be the former or the latter, the learners may (think they) want the opposite. Correct those learners who request it while they speak, correct those who request delayed feedback when they have finished, then once the activity has been completed and all feedback given, briefly discuss the pros and cons of each method with them. Elicit their ideas before giving yours, and explain your choice of method isn’t arbitrary but based on what you think will benefit them the most for any given activity. When you experiment with new techniques, involve the learners by explaining what you are doing and asking for their feedback afterwards. Hopefully this kind of discussion and learner involvement will also increase learners’ trust in you, and what you are doing with them, as well as giving you extra evidence to reflect on after the lesson.

Recommended reading:

Lightbown and Spada (2006:125-128) “Corrective feedback in the classroom” in How languages are learned (third edition) Oxford University Press, Oxford.

(Usefully describes different types of error correction – explicit correction, recasts, clarification requests, metalinguistic feedback, elicitation and repetition, giving examples of each)

Summary of #Eltchat on12.00 Weds 28.3.12: Demand-High Teaching

Having been privileged to see Jim Scrivener (@jimscriv) talk at length about Demand-High Teaching (DHT) at the recent IATEFL conference in Glasgow, which led me, via a follow-up session with both @jimscriver and Adrian Underhill, to their blog on this subject as well as his recent book on Classroom Management Techniques, when #Eltchat time rolled around, for me it was the obvious choice of topic to nominate. And, not only was it selected as the number one discussion choice but @jimscriv, himself, was able to join us today from his hotel room in Philly where he is currently attending another conference.

@theteacherjames recommended that we all read this blog post by @jemjemgardner before kicking off and finally, following strict instructions from @marisa_c, the discussion itself began with an introduction from @jimscriv. This culminated with the question,

Is where we are really where we want to be? Or have we just ended up here somehow?

@Jimscriv proposed that we, as teachers, “have drifted into a sort of dead end” and, in response to @Shaunwilden’s argument that a new name is not needed for what is simply expecting the most from our students, states that the main purpose of coining the term, DHT, was to be provocative and generate discussion. (An aim that was certainly achieved during this #eltchat session!)

A lot of questions were raised, and in the spirit of avoiding the spoon-feeding method, I’ll start  by listing these for you to reflect on before offering up the responses that tweeters volunteered.

– Do you think that we’ve drifted into a touchy feely style because we’ve incorrectly associated engagement with fun?

– Has it become ‘politically correct’ to overpraise?

– Does DHT match with learner expectations or wants or needs?

– Is DHT just expecting the most from your students?

– Maybe deferring to the [course] book isn’t all bad, if it leaves more time to allocate to more challenging tasks with pupils?

– Demand high cognitively or linguistically? Some lessons put both at elementary level.

– Are teachers afraid to demand high linguistically?

– Why aim low?

– How does ‘demand-high ELT’ sit with differentiation? Seems a demand too high. I’m already stretch as far as I can be sometimes.

– How do u distinguish between positive feedback and praise?

The discussion focussed initially on defining DHT, reaching an understanding of what it involves and, indeed, what it does not involve. Here are some of the suggestions:

– Demand-High isn’t a negative argument. It’s a positive assertion that it’s ok to “teach”.

– Everyone means well but somehow we have lost touch with where the learning is going on.

– We used to call this ‘having high expectations of our Ss’ and research suggests if you do,ss rise UP to ur expectation.

– We need to treat students like adults (if they are) and challenge them in every way

– Encouragement as valuable. Feedback as essential. Praise as mostly harmful.

– Demand high can be for any kind of student, low or high ability, just have to differentiate the demand.

– It’s about providing the right amount of challenge for each student.

– It’s about not giving indiscriminate praise- which means nothing.

– Of course lessons shld be enjoyable – but that comes from engagement with real learning – not spurious “fun”.

– All sts should be treated like ‘achieving students’ rather than like slowies…..

– I think that there is a way of teaching one-to-one with everyone in a class. And making it useful for all.

– Goal is that feedback is neutral or comes from students themselves, rather than mechanically from T.

– It involves an endless struggle between what Ts believe in and the philosophy of CB-based syllabus and exams imposed by the school?

– DHT means more teaching moments or periods in a lesson

– I think of high demand as my Ss being able to do things with the language. I want to see what they can do. So more them than me.

– Demand-High is definitely learner-centred and learning-centred.

– The challenge must be sensitive and supportive. The aim is not to terrify! But helpful, coaching, focus makes a huge difference.

This led on to exploring the obstacles that obstruct the way to DHT:

– In theory, I see myself as a “demand high” teacher *but* in some contexts, it isn’t always practical/possible

– Demand-low or average teaching is infectious in institutions where there is blame culture

– There is a culture of praising when it isn’t fully due, I’d say – hard to separate from ‘encouragement’

– We also have the difficulty of judging what is demand high of an elementary and what it is for, say, an upper int student

– There’s a misunderstanding that just because they look like they are enjoying themselves, they must be learning

– We need to ensure the level of challenge is right in so many ways (not too heavy linguistically) not too light (content)

– Schools, ministries etc do a great disservice to Ts by imposing targets – so many units a week

– Having to enroll students on a course knowing that they are going to pass the final exam

– The trouble with any term is that it’s open to interpretation.  Inevitable.

– DHT is also demanding of the T – more time, effort, preparation, energy required. Can’t just sit back and do same old.

– I worked in a language school where “no” was a word we were not allowed to say to students. Impossible mission.

– Seen so many teachers getting swept along by syllabus – doing 5 rushed readings per week instead of one good one.

– Uncritical coursebook use promotes a kind of dependency in Ts and Ss – hand-holding all round – we all need a degree of challenge.

– Often teachers are scared that they’ll upset the students. There can be cultural sensitivities in play too.

– Humanism is hugely misunderstood in ELT. It is almost the opposite of “touchy feely”. It is a muscular, robust way to help.

– There’s a lot of treadmill in ELT (& edu generally), often exam driven – more bits of paper

So despite all these obstacles, how can we promote DHT? How can we bring it into our classroom?

– By guiding them [learners], leading them towards an achievable goal, but without a script, adapting to their needs during the lesson.

– If we are going to challenge them we have to know where they are at. Our relationship w the Ss important.

– “Challenge” [the learners] to acquire – if tasks dont’s have enough challenge there is no acquisition.

– Giving hints to get students to reformulate something rather than immediately gving the correct version yourself.

– Teachers need to slow down and learn to stop meeting targets in course books. Focus on what’s happening, then and there.

– Question what we are doing  in class rather than just doing it for the sake of doing it.

– When the topic is ‘tedious and insulting’, we need to find a better angle from the sts (or change the book!)

– We need to train Ts to (a) say “no” supportively and (b) have techniques to help sts to “yes”

– No more spoonfeeding, let them develop ideas and shape them, less book-based teaching and more exploration.

– Being straight foward and asking students to not to settle for good enough.

– I ask them questions that I think may intrigue them.

– Honesty is great, but correction needs to be sensitively and supportively done.

– Choose subjects which the sts will find motivating. High demand will come easier from their own engagement.

– Push them,challenge them, support them then let them lead

– Involve ss in discussing what we’ve done, how can we do it better and what needs to be done next: learner responsibility.

– Get sts working for answers. Get sts to explain rules & meanings. Empower sts & give yourself room to see the bigger picture.

-Look at them as individuals and not homogenizing expectations for whole class

We then considered the role of pre-service teacher training in promoting DHT, what happens beyond this training and what should happen…

There were some questions:

– DHT seems a post-CELTA step to me. A higher plane of evolution. How do Ts get there? Who wil support/guide them?

– Wondering how could this be incorporated into e.g. CELTA..

– What T standards are there post-CELTA? What are Ts goals after they have taught for a few years? Do they get lost in the soup?

And some opinions:

– [Wondering how this could be incorporated into CELTA?]It is, but then it gets lost achieving a tick box criteria

– I think they [pre-service teacher trainers] have a responsibility – more looking at techniques etc rather than here’s a good activity for

-Maybe it’s for post-CELTA, maybe it comes with experience as well. It’s about questioning approaches, methods and techniques.

– Hate to say but maybe Teachers have problems with HDT & support because in their certificate programme their trainer made them feel like an idiot.

– You probably can’t “train” in 4 weeks. That course [CELTA] is survival skills. But an experienced T needs more skills.

– My sense is CELTA (no offense any1!) often pushes Ts 2 follow list of things to do/not do rather than focusing on Student Learning

– We can’t teach this in 4 weeks, but we can make the goal clear and model in own practice

– There is a higher skillset for experienced Ts that is largely unnoticed and untrained.

– At the end of the day it’s not about he qualifications it is about the skills in the classroom

– This is definitely where DoSes come in – observing Ts and forming understanding of what they are about, then guiding.

– Maybe CELTA can promote DHT but we need to develop it ourselves

– It’s hard to get new Ts to reflect and question practices/methods on the Celta when there’s only 4 weeks to teach them how to teach.

– Delta courses “should” go there – but are so wound up in stress and checklists that they tend not to.

-It’s very important that Ts understand the value (or not) of what they’re doing

– I think CELTA trainees can only cope with so much. It’s a survival intro. Sure, intro the idea  but expect “lag”

– A suggestion-come up with a series of DHT commandments. See #dogme for an example. V.useful for post-CELTA Ts.

– Demand-high is the business of in-service development, peer observation, action research, supportive observations etc

– Truly it all begins in the training classroom but the microclimate of institutions also plays an impotrant role

– Ts sit and wait for PD to come to them. They often don’t know where or when to start.

– Hard in a sector where too many institutions r concerned abt bums on seats not quality. Like mobile phone companies.

– Teachers carry around a lot of assumptions – DoSes need to investigate, identify and challenge these regularly.

– Trainers can b afraid 2 stomp on trainees egos -knock-on effect inclassm. ‘Aim high’ should be a life philosophy.

– It’s also about changing preservice teachers perceptions of what teaching is & precedence for lifelong learning

There seemed to be a feeling that some institutions can make it difficult for teachers to be or become demand-high teachers but that despite this, we can still bring demand-high teaching into the classroom, via any of the suggestions for promoting DHT listed earlier in this summary. As a grassroots movement, the best thing we can do is spread the word.

To conclude with, here are four quotes from the discussion that, for me, really summed up what we are trying to achieve with Demand-High Teaching and how those moments might feel:

– Our students are capable of great things if we don’t underestimate them.

– Goethe:  “If I accept you as you are, I make you worse; but if I treat you as I believe you are capable of being, I help you become that”

– How will I know if I am getting my hands dirty? When learners lean back in chairs after class with tired, happy faces.

– You will feel it. Uncertainty. Having to think rather than auto-pilot. A real conversation.

To find out more about Demand-High Teaching and to see the discussion continue, visit @jimscriv and Adrian’s blog.